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Showing posts from December, 2012

When God is Silent

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Did you ever wonder if God was fully aware of your circumstance or was really busy doing anything about it?

In addition to being a pastor full time and a writer/speaker, I am also a certified career coach and give about ten hours a week in fulfilling this important role. This week I was working with a job seeker on a resume.

When I help a client construct a resume from the ground up it's pretty intense. I ask a lot of questions and type as we go. Although they are on the phone with me the entire time (while I work at my computer with a headset), I am sometimes quiet during the process. Throughout our time together I tell them, "If I'm quiet at points during this process, I just want to let you know, I'm still here. The reason I'm quiet is that writing is intense work and when I'm thinking of just the right word, you may not hear anything for about 30 seconds, maybe even a little longer..."

Most clients fully understand and they are absolutely amazed when…

I'm still here.

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Hi.

It's me. Deanna.

I feel as if I need to re-introduce myself. :)

Sorry I didn't show up yesterday.   Amidst making sure all the bases are covered at church and NextJob,  I'm taking a few days off here and there for family time during Christmas/New Years, and to accomplish some projects.

Lost Daughters just got a book deal! That's right, Lost Daughters, "the book" is coming! An anthology of our work is being published, in book form, for the whole world to read.  Yeahhhhhhhhhh...super excited about that, and the LD sisterhood is in full swing preparing for this monumental endeavor. To say I'm excited to be a contributing writer on this project doesn't even begin to describe my feelings.

I'm on deadline for a few articles that are due the first week of the year. Not complaining! Writing is what puts the wind in my sails. And, gives me a little money for hairspray.

Most pressing on my mind right now is finalizing my personal adoption blog. It'…

Are You Exhausted With Christmas As It Is?
Tell Me How You'd Do It Different or Better

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Lest anyone think I needed the spirit of "Bah Humbug!" cast out of me, I've waited to say this. Now that it's December 26, here goes.

Was anybody else but me totally exhausted this season? Do you wonder why you continue year after year on the treadmill of holiday seasonal stress disorder?

A few years ago I read this article, Let's Fast Christmas, by an acquaintance in the ministry, Dr. Carolyn Tennant. I've met and talked with Dr. T several times and highly respect her. When I read this article back in 2008, it resonated with me. In fact, my heart leaped within me to do just as she suggested. I felt as if she had given me a personal altar call.


But I feel powerless to respond. At a loss to do anything different than what I've always done. And four years later I'm still there.

I'm just being real here. Please hear me out before thinking Scrooge might need to be my new nickname.

What would it be like to "fast" Christmas as we currently k…

Merry Christmas

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My prayer is that all of my friends today know the joy that faith, family and fun brings.

I love you.

Twas The Night Before Christmas...

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Lately we've been watching old home movies at our house and turning them from VHS to DVD. The kids have been watching them and just loving it! So much that Jordan has requested that we record Christmas day, at our house this year. Seriously! It looks like we're actually going to do that.  

We love traditions at our home especially during the holidays.  Tonight we have Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion at the church.  It's one of our most special times of the year.  Afterwards we go out for Chinese food.  (Usually a Chinese buffet.) We've done that for 25 years now, since the very first year Larry and I were married. We started it because after all the preparation I do in cooking and cleaning for Christmas, we've already got a full refrigerator, and the last thing I want to do is MORE cooking. 

Today I'm putting the finishing touches on all the home festivities for tomorrow.

When we wake up we enjoy what the kids call  "sweet rolls".  They…

Weekend Potpourri, Part Deux

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Yesterday was an overwhelming day. I didn't blog. Yeah, I know...that makes two days in a week. People might actually think the apocalypse is coming since I haven't blogged two days this week.

It's a sign of the times, friends.

Get your cans or pork and beans ready, and prepare to flee to the mountains. 


Seriously, I'm blogging today at Lost Daughters, writing at my spiritual column on the site, so check me out there today. I'm talking about why adoptees don't let go of the past. The answer may be a little different than you expect. For those who are adoptees or are those who care about them, it's important information to know.

One more day til' Christmas Eve!!  Help us, all Lord! Something tells me the world shouldn't be this stressed out on Your birthday. Oh for an opportunity to just get quiet and focus on You!

Weekend Potpourri

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Already? And it's only Friday. I know, I know...I usually save a weekend wrap up and my little "potpourri" posts for the end of the weekend. But my feet already feel like it's Sunday night. Ha! I've been on them working, preparing for Christmas at both home and the church.

Any pastor or pastor's wife can tell you there's always a looooooot to get ready at any church for Christmas. Right now we're getting ready for a Christmas Eve/Christmas Day outreach that we're doing as well as our usual Christmas Eve Communion, not to mention the weekend service. And most pastors (me included) are doing it with a shoestring crew of those who are still in town. Every year at this time I'm longing for the day after Christmas when I can just sleep in, stay in my jammies all day and zone out. Some years I get away with that and other years, Savanna says, "come on Mom, let's go out and look for after Christmas sales!" :) 

Speaking of Savanna, her…

Peace in the Midst

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"Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul; we may preserve it in the midst of bitterest pain, if our will remains firm and submissive. Peace in this life springs from acquiescence to, not in exemption from, suffering."

~ Francois Fenelon

"You And Your Stupid Dogs..."

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Yes, I've actually heard that.

From time to time I talk with individuals who seem to think people's affection and dedication to their dogs is an over-the-top, unwarranted response. After all...they are, "just" dogs.

And to this, I think, "hold me back, Jesus..."

This is my favorite inspirational story that has come out from the Newtown tragedy. It's about "comfort dogs" that have been brought in to help the surviving children and their families. One little boy who lived through the tragedy was not able to speak of what happened all this time but when they brought in the comfort dog, he began to talk to the dog and explain to the dog what he had been through. The dog therapy accomplished what humans had not been able to do.

Dogs are not "just dogs" and I have little patience for human beings who poo-poo their worth.


Max and Maddie listen to me for hours on end. (Larry is grateful for their ministry...lol.)


While I have poured my heart …

You Can Do Anything For One More Day

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There are some of you reading this blog right now who feel like you can't take another step.

You're wondering what people in your life are going to do when you simply stop doing whatever it is you do. 

Checking yourself into a hospital just to have an excuse to rest seems appealing right now. (I actually have a friend in ministry who used to do that all the time. It sounds crazy but I understand it.)

You ministers out there know all that doo-doo about the world ending on Friday is NOT true and you are busy with plans for 2013. You are also praying that a lot of church people readthis.

Please hold on for at least one more second before you pop. Listen to what I say today. Please.

I didn't blog yesterday. Anyone who knows me personally knows that's really rare to almost non-existent.

I just wasn't ready to say what's on my mind.


Sunday I started to hit the wall. I was directing our Christmas Show on Sunday night.

People sometimes wonder if leaders ever encount…

Psalm 46:5

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Please, Don't Give the Shooter What He Wanted!

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I'm so grateful for  friends who have posted blogs or other social media updates about something other than the Sandy Hook tragedy. I don't mind those who have posted about it. (I've done that myself.) But, I'm glad some are sharing about other things in the midst of it all.

Several people posted things that were unrelated throughout the day yesterday and I noticed some vague-like "rebukes" from people who felt it was their job to gently remind them of what they were allowed to post about yesterday. (Apparently there were guidelines I was unaware of.) Yesterday was not the day to post  about anything else but the shooting. Did you get the memo? It was not the day to share about the grilled cheese you ate for lunch or the price of gas coming down slightly.  Anyone who posted about that was gently redirected back to the shooting, and reminded to just pray.

Others shared updates about feeling guilt for enjoying their child's Christmas concert realizing anoth…

Where I'm At Today...
(Pretty much in awe...)

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Recently, Amanda Woolston who founded and leads Lost Daughters, asked me if I would serve as the spiritual columnist for Lost Daughters. I will have the privilege of unpacking the issues of adoption from a spiritual perspective and sharing about the hope and healing that is available. How amazing is that? If you would have told me even seven months ago that any of this would be taking place I would have thought you were crazy!

It's been just six months since I started writing about adoption. I first shared here about my leap of faith in applying to be a writer at Lost Daughters.  And then I shared here about my first post when I was accepted to join the writing team.  So much has happened in just a few months time. I stand in awe of what has happened and how God has grown me and healed me in the process of writing there. I can't even fathom not being a part of this community. And I'm overwhelmed at the opportunities God has opened for me to somehow be a blessing to oth…

Why I Want 31 Days to Great Sex

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Actual conversation with my husband last night:

Him: So, what do you want for Christmas?
Me: I want 31 Days to Great Sex
Him: Can we get that on Amazon?
Me: Yes.
Him: Is that it?
Me: Yeah....but then you have to actually do it, with your wife...
Him: Well, you've got a problem then.
Me: Why?
Him: Because you don't have a wife.
Me: Ughhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously now...why do I want the book, 31 Days to Great Sex, for Christmas?
First, it's written by one of my favorite bloggers, Sheila Wray Gregoire. She also wrote, The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex (And You Thought Bad Girls Have All The Fun!) 
I know because Sheila wrote it, it's gonna be good. She's written this book specifically for married couples who are interested in taking love, friendship and fun to the next level. I'm all about that.
Second, I want it because reading about marriage from Godly sources and constantly working on things is part of mine and Larry's ongoing strategy for keeping our …

The One Question I'm So Sick Of (And a prayer...for us)

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"What do you want?"

This is a very popular question people are often asked in business, in counseling, in coaching.


I've never had a problem knowing and describing exactly what I want.

Ever.

My entire life I have been able to define and articulate what I want, how I want it, when I want it, and who I want it from right down to the exact details.

For all of that realization, I am often frustrated. Because I've found that defining what you want doesn't solve your problems. Even knowing what you want and going after it wholeheartedly doesn't solve all your problems. Because sometimes no matter how hard you try, it doesn't go the way you want it to go. Sometimes it also takes more than one person to make it work. Like the song says, "It takes two to make a thing go right...it takes two to make it outta sight..."

It's been my experience that anything I want that is possible to achieve by myself, is no problem. When I desire something and all it…

What Should An Unhappy Small Business Owner Do?

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This marks the sixth month that I've been writing the advice column I was asked to write for the Tampa Bay newspaper, Insight. Things are going super well! So well in fact, that yesterday, their Editor-in-Chief, Alisha Perella, asked me if I would consider doing an advice column for their sister-paper, Epoch. So now I will have not one, but two advice columns running in Tampa area newspapers! So cool, huh? And, on top of that, I've been asked to contribute some feature articles aside from the advice columns. It just keeps gettin' better and better. I love writing, if you couldn't tell...

Once they publish the paper,I have been posting a copy of my columns here for blog readers who don't live in the Tampa area. If you are interested in reading previous columns,click here. This month in Insight, I tackled the the problems of an unhappy small-business owner.


On The Road Again...

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I'm headed to Bradenton tonight to preach at a Christmas event at Harvest Chapel. The lead pastors of this church are Brian and Paula Royer.Wonderful people! Just love 'em!

I've preached at this beautiful church once before, for a sectional women's event. It was a great time. Can't wait to be back there with them tonight.  If you're in the Bradenton area, why don't you come over and join us? (7 pm)

Before I head to Bradenton, I've been attacking the stack of work that's on my agenda upon my return from our trip.  

We'regearing up for a lot more at Celebration Church that's happening this season, particularly our Christmas Show which is this Sunday night.




This year our team has written the Christmas Show -- we've all contributed, but it's me at the helm of this project and it's been quite the ride! It's going to be a powerful night. Can't wait to see what God does. The show is more than just beautiful Christmas songs. Most …

Weekend Potpourri

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I tried to ease back into life in Tampa on Saturday, after the cruise. Well, there was no easing in today.  It was a busy day but an excellent one.  Hearts were healed and lives were changed.

I preached today at Celebration. The message was entitled, "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!" God did awesome things around the altars. There were people who were so touched, particularly one young lady. Wowwwweeee, God reallllly got ahold of her! I just wept   -- even an hour after service I was still wiping the tears before heading to Christmas show rehearsals. She was so overcome by the power of God, our young adult leaders, Mike and Sunshine, had to physically help her out as she was leaving the service.


It was a day of miracles in more ways than one.

Still I can think back and savor my memories of a week spent in such tranquil peace.



It's Back to the Real World

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Slowly easing into reality from the luxury of seven days of...


Where my vantage point above me was...


And the view ahead of me was...


And this amazing person beside me was...


The kids seem real happy to have us home, and a certain two bulldogs didn't quit leaping for about fifteen minutes after we walked in the door. It was a such a nice welcome home.

Jordan had a particularly sweet surprise. While we were gone, he put lights up outside on the house - icicle lights to frame the house, as well as red and green lights on the palm trees. I called him for a few moments when we had phone service in the U.S. Virgin Islands and he said, "Mom, I've got a surprise for you when you come home. You're gonna love it!"

He was right.

Little touches of love and care make easing back into work a lot easier.

I don't even want to look at my initiative list for this week. Can't I put my head in the sand along with where my toes were all week? LOL

Being surrounded by more Ch…